SAN DIEGO (June 29, 2018) Machinist's Mate 3rd Class Dominic Martinez prepares to ignite the No. 1 boiler in the aft main machinery room of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6). Bonhomme Richard is currently in its homeport of San Diego preparing for an upcoming scheduled deployment. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 William Sykes.
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (June 29, 2018) Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) 2018 Innovation Fair visitor uses a virtual reality demonstration from the COMSUBPAC Innovation Lab booth, in Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. The innovation fair is to accelerate the delivery of innovative capabilities to operators by introducing and demonstrating the capability and technology in an operationally relevant environment. The world's largest international maritime exercise, RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in the series that began in 1971. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Michael H. Lee.
Navy kicks off 26th RIMPAC exercise
From Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet
JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (NNS) -- Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet Adm. John C. Aquilino and Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet Vice Adm. John D. Alexander announced today the start of the world's largest international maritime exercise, the biennial Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC), scheduled through Aug. 2 in and around the Hawaiian Islands and Southern California.
Twenty-five nations, more than 45 surface ships and submarines, 17 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft and 25,000 personnel are taking part in a unique training opportunity designed to foster and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's interconnected oceans. RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in a series that began in 1971. Read More
Infantry Marines getting new vehicles
Infantry Marines receive ultralight off-road vehicles that will improve mission readiness by providing rapid logistics support in the field.
Program Executive Officer Land Systems, the Corps’ acquisition arm for major land programs, delivered 144 Utility Task Vehicles to the regiment-level a mere six months from contract award. The rugged all-terrain vehicle can carry up to four Marines or be converted to haul 1,500 pounds of supplies. With minimal armor, the UTV can quickly haul extra ammunition and provisions, or injured Marines, while preserving energy and stealth.........read more
Military couple assignment policy: 5 things to know
The Navy realizes how important families are, and when they're not whole it can add stress to a Sailor's life. Collocation of dual-military couples is part of supporting families. It is a priority, along with balancing fleet readiness. The revised policy updates the collocation and distribution procedures and makes orders negotiation less cumbersome........ read more
Navy Pregnancy and Parenthood mobile app available
"Pregnancy and parenthood can be compatible with a successful military career when Service members and the Command both understand their roles and responsibilities, said Capt. Candace Eckert, director of N1 Diversity. "This app makes that task easier by identifying regulations, instructions and references from a wide variety of sources and offering them in one easy-to-use app. The app includes information regarding assignments, retention, separation, standards of conduct and much more." ......read more
To protect Sailors and Marines suffering with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) or any other diagnosed mental health condition, Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus has made his department the first in the military to assure such conditions are considered before separating a service member. ......read more
Military pay tables 2018
BAH, BAS, and Military Incentive Payscales for 2018
Military pay tables 2017
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SAN DIEGO (June 27, 2018) Gunner's Mate 2nd Class Kelsey O'Keefe assigned to Coastal Riverine Squadron (CRS) 3 mans a M240B machine gun aboard a MKVI patrol boat during high value asset transit escort mission as part of final evaluation problem conducted by Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 1 Training and Evaluation Unit. CRG provides a core capability to defend designated high value assets throughout the green and blue-water environment and providing deployable Adaptive Force Packages (AFP) worldwide in an integrated, joint and combined theater of operations. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Boatswain's Mate Nelson Doromal Jr.
National military news
Blended Retirement System enrollment period nears midpoint
From Chief of Naval Personnel Public Affairs
WASHINGTON (NNS) -- Navy issued a reminder for all commands to notify Sailors who are eligible to opt-in to the Blended Retirement System (BRS) that there are just six months remaining in the BRS enrollment period in NAVADMIN 158/18, released July 2.
Command administration departments must contact their supporting personnel office to verify that the list of opt-in eligible Sailors within their command is current.
Sailors have until Dec. 31, 2018 to opt-in to the BRS and enrollment can be completed via the "MyPay" website. Sailors who choose not to enroll in the BRS will remain in the current "legacy" retirement system. If a Sailor elects to enroll in the BRS, that decision is permanent.
The NAVADMIN also notes that the BRS mid-career continuation pay rates for 2019 can be found at: http://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/support/21st_Century_Sailor/readiness/Pages/Personal-Financial-Management.aspx. To receive the mid-career continuation pay, Sailors must have opted into BRS and requested continuation pay before reaching 12 years of service.
For more information read NAVADMIN 158/18 at: https://www.public.navy.mil/bupers-npc/reference/messages/NAVADMINS/Pages/NAVADMIN2018.aspx
30th NCR relocated to Guam
by MCC Matthew White, Navy Expeditionary Combat Command
SANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- The 30th Naval Construction Regiment (NCR) relocated to Naval Base Guam from Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, California, July 1.
The relocation of 30th NCR streamlines operational effectiveness and establishes the regiment as a forward-deployed operational staff capable of commanding and controlling deployed Naval Construction Force units.
"Thirty NCR's relocation to Guam improves the operational readiness of deployed Seabee forces assigned to 7th Fleet and enhances the overall Navy Expeditionary Force," said 30th NCR Commodore, Capt. Jeffrey Kilian. "Our presence in the Marianas will streamline command and control with our subordinate units that are conducting vital operations to regional security as well as supporting our allies."
As Commander Task Group 75.5, 30th NCR enables the real-time mobility of response for engineering units and other assigned forces to provide expeditionary, general and limited combat engineer capability to respond to major combat operations and contingencies, conduct Theater Security Cooperation Plan operations, and execute Humanitarian Assistance Disaster Response (HA/DR) and Civil-Military Operations within the Pacific.
For more than 75 years, Seabees have protected and served the nation with great pride and dedication. Over the course of its history, the Naval Construction Force has adapted and evolved to remain a ready and effective force capable of operating in changing operational environments around the globe.
30th NCR moved many times during the island hopping campaign of World War II, and later during the Vietnam conflict. During its history, 30th NCR has operated from Saipan, Guam, Philippines, Danang (Republic of Vietnam), Okinawa, Hawaii and California. The Regiment also deployed to Southwest Asia in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.
The move of 30th NCR to Guam demonstrates the Naval Construction Force and Navy Expeditionary Forces Command Pacific's commitment to adapting and evolving in order to serve as part of the Navy the Nation Needs.
JMSDF, DESRON 15 train in Indo-Pacific
by MCSN Codie L. Soule, Commander, Task Force 70 Public Affairs
PHILIPPINE SEA (NNS) -- Personnel from the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) embarked the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76), June 16 - 23.
While embarked aboard Reagan, JMSDF and Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 15 participated in bilateral training increasing interoperability between their units.
"By sailing and training together we can learn procedures needed for improving operational as well as tactical interoperability in planning and executing processes," said Captain Koji Saito, Commander, Escort Division Two.
The bilateral training included integrating JMSDF and DESRON 15 personnel in carrier strike group support training and an anti-submarine warfare exercise.
"The anti-submarine warfare exercise was valuable training which wouldn't have happened that without our JMSDF counterparts," said Lt. Casey Veronie, the DESRON 15 lead for theater engagement. "Our goal for the post-Malabar training was to increase JMSDF integration into the Ronald Reagan Strike Group..."
The JMSDF and U.S. Navy conduct bilateral training exercises yearly increasing the maritime forces interoperability in the Indo-Pacific region.
The JMSDF personnel embarked Ronald Reagan in the beginning of Malabar 2018 in which the two maritime forces participated with the Indian navy.
"Conducting combined operations with our JMSDF allies strengthens our partnership at sea and strengthens the alliance between our nations," said Capt. Jon Duffy, commodore, DESRON 15. "Our forward-deployed presence in the Indo-Pacific region alongside the JMSDF is crucial to being able to conduct maritime operations in this part of the world. Operating and training with our JMSDF counterparts increases both of our navies' readiness to conduct a range of tasks at sea."
The Ronald Reagan Strike Group is forward-deployed to the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations in the support of security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
First phase of African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership closes
From U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa / U.S. 6th Fleet Public Affairs
AFRICA (NNS) -- The United States, Cabo Verde and Senegal completed combined operations during Operation Junction Rain, a part of African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership (AMLEP), in Dakar, Senegal, June 28.
AMLEP pairs a U.S. Coast Guard law enforcement detachment (LEDET) with partner nation maritime forces and interagency personnel to execute combined law enforcement operations. The U.S. boarding teams operated from partner nation vessels to identify suspect vessels or escort vessels that have been cited for illicit and criminal activities.
"This part of Operation Junction Rain was a great success," said Cmdr. Matthew Lehman, commodore, Destroyer Squadron 60 and Task Force 65. "We worked seamlessly with our Senegalese and Cabo Verdean partners while supporting their efforts to patrol their maritime domains against illicit traffickers and illegal fishing."
In total, combined boarding teams performed 40 boardings, of mostly fishing vessels, and the Senegalese Navy issued two fishing violations for a total of $75,000.
U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, headquartered in Naples, Italy, oversees joint and naval operations, often in concert with allied and interagency partners, to enable enduring relationships and increase vigilance and resilience in Europe and Africa.
Critical Days of Summer underway
by Susanne Greene, Naval Safety Center Public Affairs
NORFOLK, Va. (NNS) -- The Navy recognizes the period from Memorial Day through Labor Day as the "Critical Days of Summer," a time when many Sailors are enjoying time off for leave and recreational activities and there's an increased chance to get hurt without proper risk management. An average of 17 Sailors die per year on average due to off-duty mishaps.
"The Critical Days of Summer are the most dangerous times of year, but are much safer if we keep our awareness high," stated Don Borkoski, Traffic and Recreation Off-Duty Specialist at the Naval Safety Center.
The loss of one life is too many and the Naval Safety Center recently launched an awareness campaign with summer safety training, available on the command's website.
Borkoski also recommended taking advantage of motorcycle training and mentorship programs this summer for those who ride, since motorcycle fatalities always increase during the summer months and over the last five years have accounted for 22 fatalities during the Critical Days of Summer.
The other leading causes of off-duty deaths are drowning, falling, and alcohol.
"If you start your summer activity with alcohol," stated Borkowski, "we may likely be reading about your mishap."
The leading injury causes are motorcycle crashes, falls, sports injuries, injuries from lawn and yard work, and heat over-exposure.
The number of summer injuries and deaths can be greatly reduced by managing risks, improving awareness of hazards and implementing mitigation controls. The same skills taught in Operational Risk Management (ORM) training apply off-duty as well and will allow Sailors to have fun this summer without becoming a statistic.
SoCal military news
SAN DIEGO (June 29, 2018) Capt. Larry McCullen, commanding officer of the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6), speaks to Sailors and Marines during an all-hands call in the ship's hangar bay. Bonhomme Richard is currently in its homeport of San Diego, Calif., preparing for an upcoming scheduled deployment. U.S. Navy photo by MC2 Jeanette Mullinax.
Submarine Squadron 11 welcomes Chilean submarine to San Diego
by MC2 Derek Harkins
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Commander, Submarine Squadron 11 (CSS-11) welcomed the diesel-electric Chilean Submarine (CS) Simpson (SS 21) to Naval Base Point Loma as part of the Diesel-Electric Submarine Initiative (DESI) program, June 26.
DESI, established in 2001 by U.S. Fleet Forces Command, enhances the Navy's capability to operate with diesel-electric submarines by partnering with South American navies. During Simpson's three-month deployment to San Diego, the crew will conduct underway operations with U.S. Navy submarines, ships and aircraft.
"Each year, Submarine Squadron 11 has the privilege of hosting a South American submarine in our local waters," said Lt. Alexander Papadakos, the CSS-11 liaison officer for Simpson. "During these visits, we are able to simulate a variety of wartime scenarios against diesel submarines which adds an additional degree of difficulty and reality to fleet ASW, as diesel submarines have proven to be quiet and elusive."
Simpson will conduct surface, air, and sub-surface anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercises. These operations will provide the U.S. Navy and the Chilean crew valuable training and exercise opportunities to improve skills, capabilities and experience in ASW warfare.
Sailors on board Simpson will also engage in training ashore on Naval Base Point Loma. The Submarine Learning Center (SLC) Detachment San Diego will host the Chilean sailors for classroom and practical training, including fighting simulated fires at the Fire Fighting Trainer and learning skills to combat flooding in the Damage Control Team Trainer.
"Maintaining our own ASW prowess is not the only benefit of DESI," said Papadakos. "It allows us to strengthen our bonds with our South American partners."
Capt. Chris Cavanaugh, commander, Submarine Squadron 11, personally welcomed the commanding officer and crew of CS Simpson with members of his staff and Sailors from the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Scranton (SSN 756).
The highlight of the DESI deployment is CHILEMAR VIII, a submarine search and rescue exercise that will take place in August. Chile remains the only South American submarine-operating country to conduct frequent live submarine rescue exercises with U.S. Navy rescue assets at Undersea Rescue Command.
While in port, the Sailors of both navies look forward to challenging each other on the soccer field for friendly pick-up games, picnics and socials throughout the summer.
Submarine Squadron 11 was commissioned July 1, 1986, at Naval Base Point Loma, as a result of reorganization of Commander, Submarine Group 5. Submarine Squadron 11 consists of five Los Angeles-class fast attack submarines, the floating dry dock Arco (ARDM 5) and Undersea Rescue Command (URC). The squadron staff is responsible for providing training, material and personnel readiness support for each of these units.
Navy Preventive Medicine Unit hosts Mexican Navy in support of RIMPAC exercise
by Lt. Janice Whittaker,
Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit Five, Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (NNS) -- The Navy Environmental and Preventive Medicine Unit FIVE (NEPMU-5) hosted 15 Mexican Navy health service personnel in support of Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise, June 26.
The Mexican Navy personnel are crew members from the ARM USUMACINTA-412, a Mexican Navy ship that arrived in San Diego June 25, as part of RIMPAC.
NEPMU-5 collaborated with the 15th Medical Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in organizing the event.
The visit showcased a wide variety of public health services, placing significant emphasis on humanitarian assistance and disaster response mission capabilities as well as sharing best practices on applying force health protection measures for exercise participants.
"The visit aboard the ARM USUMACINTA-412 fostered an open exchange of information and practices on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief with our partners in the Mexican Navy. By collaborating with our partners, we build trust and strengthen future coalition-force cohesion," said Lt. Megan Hinton, 15th MEU medical planner.
The Mexican Navy personnel toured the comprehensive industrial hygiene laboratory, microbiology laboratory, and were introduced to the Forward Deployable Preventive Medicine Unit's capabilities as well as Global Health Engagement initiatives that the Navy has participated in.
"Engaging our foreign counterparts is critical to our overall mission to improve the health and safety of our war fighters, expand medical readiness, and build relationships across the globe. This visit highlights that effort and contributes to the significant impact of embracing diversity while enhancing interoperability by helping partner nations build health capacity, combat global health threats, and supporting humanitarian assistance and disaster relief initiatives," said Cmdr. Shelton Lyons, Officer in Charge NEPMU-5.
NEPMU-5 Fleet Support staff also had an opportunity to engage in a subject matter expert exchange onboard USUMACINTA. The team demonstrated use of portable water testing equipment primarily used for shipboard and field environment. Additionally, they were able to tour the ship spaces and interact with foreign counterparts on matters involving shipboard sanitation, which gave them insight on the Mexican Navy's force health protection capabilities.
"Having the opportunity to exchange public health response capabilities with the Mexican Navy, better prepares each service in case of an actual disaster," said Lt. William Gordon, Environmental Health Officer, NEPMU-5.
RIMPAC, world's largest international maritime warfare exercise, is held biennially during June and July of even-numbered years from Honolulu, Hawaii. It is hosted and administered by the United States Navy's Pacific Fleet, headquartered at Pearl Harbor, in conjunction with the Marine Corps, the Coast Guard, and Hawaii National Guard forces under the control of the Governor of Hawaii. The United States invites military forces from the Pacific Rim and beyond to participate. With this exercise, the United States Pacific Command seeks to enhance interoperability between Pacific Rim armed forces, ostensibly as a means of promoting stability in the region to the benefit of all participating nations. It is a unique training opportunity that helps participants foster and sustain the cooperative relationships that are critical to ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's oceans.
Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center conducts change of command ceremony
by Lt. Joshua Pierce, Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Fleet Anti-Submarine Warfare Training Center (FLEASWTRACEN) held a change of command ceremony onboard Naval Base Point Loma, June 15.
Capt. Brandon Bryan relieved Capt. Ron Toland as commanding officer.
Toland assumed command of the training center in June 2016. During his tenure, he led a staff of 270 service members and 30 civilian government employees, enhanced curriculum and proficiency of his instructors, and embarked on several initiatives, including the reshaping and implementing of new sonar technician surface training.
Toland's next assignment is deputy commander for Surface and Mine Warfighting Development Center Mine Warfare Division, also located in San Diego.
Bryan, who previously served as assistant chief of staff for operations on the staff of commander, Carrier Strike Group 15 and director of strike group anti-submarine warfare training at the Undersea Warfighting Development Center, looks forward to his new duty as commanding officer for FLEASWTRACEN.
"It is a true honor and privilege to take command of this dedicated team of Navy active duty and civilian professionals," Bryan said.
"FLEASWTRACEN is at the forefront of delivering relevant and realistic combat systems training to the surface warfare fleet, and I look forward to working with this superb team in continuing their record of excellence."
CSCS' mission is to develop and deliver surface ship combat systems training to achieve surface warfare superiority. CSCS headquarters' staff oversees 14 learning sites, including FLEASWTRACEN. With a military and civilian staff of 300, FLEASWTRACEN delivers 90 technical courses of instruction through 475 course convenes educating more than 4,100 U.S. Navy and partner nation Sailors in the many facets of maintaining and operating their ships in the areas of anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare, combat systems training and littoral combat ship training.
Carrier Strike Group 1 welcomes new commander
From Carl Vinson Strike Group Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Rear Adm. Alvin Holsey relieved Rear Adm. John Fuller as commander, Carrier Strike Group (CSG) 1, during a pierside change of command ceremony, June 12, aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70).
Vice Adm. John D. Alexander, commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, presided over the ceremony and thanked Fuller for his efforts over the past 11 months as strike group commander.
Holsey addressed strike group staff and leaders after assuming all duties and responsibilities as the CSG-1 commander.
"I am honored today to stand before you as your leader," said Holsey. "We will take every advantage to execute with professionalism, with purpose, and with precision."
Holsey received his commission through the Navy Reserve Officer Training Corps program at Morehouse College in 1988. He commanded Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Light (HSL) 37 from 2007 to 2008 and the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island (LHD 8) from 2013 to 2014.
Holsey reported to the strike group from the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C., where he served as a deputy director for operations.
Carrier Strike Group 1 was formally established in 2009. The strike group includes aircraft carrier Carl Vinson; Carrier Air Wing 2; guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57); Destroyer Squadron 1 guided-missile destroyers USS O'Kane (DDG 77), USS Sterett (DDG 104), USS Dewey (DDG 105), and USS Michael Murphy; and USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001).
USS Carl Vinson holds change of command
From USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- Capt. Matthew Paradise relieved Rear Adm. Doug Verissimo as commanding officer of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during a pierside change of command ceremony June 11 on the ship's flight deck.
Verissimo, who assumed command of Carl Vinson in May 2016, was promoted to rear admiral during the ceremony just before turning over command to Paradise. Vice Adm. DeWolfe Miller, commander, Naval Air Forces, spoke during the event and praised Verissimo's leadership.
After Paradise assumed all duties and responsibilities as Carl Vinson's commanding officer, he addressed the crew as captain for the first time.
"I join Admiral Miller and Admiral Verissimo in saluting Team Vinson for all it has achieved in these past few months and years," said Paradise. "There are more opportunities yet to go. We will have the opportunity to showcase America's strength, strengthen ties with our international partners, and remind everybody once again who is the best at what they do."
Paradise enlisted in the Navy in 1985 and attended Basic Underwater Demolition School. While assigned to SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) Team 2, he was selected for the Enlisted Commissioning Program and earned his commission in 1992.
After earning his wings as an F/A-18 pilot in July 1995, he flew and served in multiple training and operational commands. Paradise served as the executive officer for USS George H.W. Bush from 2013 to 2015 and commanded USS Blue Ridge (LCC 19) from 2016 to 2017.
Carl Vinson is America's third Nimitz-class aircraft carrier. The ship's namesake is one of the longest-serving U.S. congressmen in history who had a profound impact on developing America's modern naval force centered on aircraft carriers.
USS Portland arrives in Pearl Harbor
by MC2 Britney Odom, USS Portland Public Affairs
PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- The amphibious transport dock ship USS Portland (LPD 27) arrived in Pearl Harbor May 29 to conduct Combat Systems Ship Qualification Trials.
The ship departed San Diego May 21 and began her transit to Hawaii.
The ship's crew has engaged in various training exercises within the past couple of weeks to ensure the ship's weapon systems are properly installed, function correctly, and can be operated safely.
For the first time since RIMPAC 2002, U.S. 3rd Fleet's Command Center will relocate from San Diego to Pearl Harbor to support command and control of all 3rd Fleet forces in 3rd Fleet's area of responsibility to include forces operating in the Western Pacific. The Fleet Command Center will be established at a Deployable Joint Command and Control on Hospital Point in Hawaii for the first part of the exercise and then transition to Portland for the remainder of the exercise.
United Through Reading®
Deploying? Service members invited to record stories for family at San Diego USO
United Through Reading® is a program helping ease the stress of separation for military families by having deploying or deployed service members read children’s books aloud via DVD for their family to watch at home. This powerful program is available to all military units. It provides service members a chance to make lasting connections from afar. The DVD recording and the book are mailed to the child and family back home.
Service members who are leaving for training can also take part in this program. Being a parent is not required; service members can send the DVD & book(s) to any special child in their life such as younger sister or brother, niece, nephew or godchild.
On the day of the recording, service members are encouraged to dress in the attire they will be wearing while deployed/training, but this is not required. The room is private, so any special message, or those fun reading voices, will only be heard by the recipient of the DVD recording. USO San Diego has books available, or service members can bring their own. Our volunteers will help set up the camera and then leave the room. The DVD can hold a 30 minute recording.
Please e-mail USO San Diego Staff Member Nichole Duarte at email@example.com to make your appointment. This program is offered at both USO San Diego centers.